INDIANAPOLIS — With his ground attack virtually non-existent, quarterback Bernie Kosar threw three touchdowns passes Sunday as the Cleveland Browns beat the winless Indianapolis Colts, 24-9.
A spectacular catch by Herman Fontenot gave the Browns a quick 14-0 lead, and Indianapolis never seriously challenged again.
"He (Fontenot) wasn't the primary receiver," said Cleveland Coach Marty Schottenheimer of the 72-yard touchdown play. "We just got him man-to-man on the linebacker, and the free safety missed the ball."
Kosar said: "We went out and saw the mismatch with the linebacker on Herman. He was a wide receiver in college. He has a lot of speed, and we just took advantage of it."
The victory kept the Browns (6-3) in a tie with Cincinnati for first place in the AFC Central Division. The Colts dropped to 0-9 for the first time in the franchise's history.
"Kosar did a good job," Schottenheimer said. "He threw well when he had to."
The Browns, limited to just 46 yards in 26 carries, came up with 238 yards on a 15-of-25 passing performance by Kosar.
"Offensively we were inept, and defensively we gave up a big play that ended up really hurting us," Indianapolis Coach Rod Dowhower said.
Kosar connected with Brian Brennan and Fontenot for touchdowns within two minutes of each other in the first quarter. A 40-yard field goal by Dean Biasucci cut the Colts' deficit to 14-3 at halftime.
The long touchdown came when Kosar lofted the football and the Browns' halfback caught the ball behind safety Tate Randall, who had the pass go through his outstretched arms at the 30.
Cleveland's Ozzie Newsome made a diving catch in the end zone of a nine-yard throw in the third quarter.
A 38-yard Matt Bahr field goal gave the Browns a 24-3 advantage after three quarters. Indianapolis then moved 88 yards in 15 plays to score on a six-yard touchdown toss from Jack Trudeau to Matt Bouza.
An aggressive Cleveland defense sacked Trudeau 7 times for 49 yards.